When a fatal accident is the result of a driver's negligence, the family of the deceased can sue for wrongful death. The concerns of grieving families often don't immediately involve the financial problems that come with losing a loved one, but those problems, which are usually related to medical bills and funeral costs, are nonetheless real.
On Aug. 15, a 24-year-old woman driving the wrong way on a Georgia highway crashed her car into a vehicle driven by a 44-year-old man. Before the crash, there were multiple 911 calls advising of a car travelling in the wrong direction on the road. Unfortunately, the fatal accident occurred before local police could find the driver.
Though passersby attempted to render aid, the man died at the scene. The wrong-way driver also died at a nearby hospital, and a passenger in that woman's vehicle was critically injured. Investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if alcohol was a factor in the accident.
Because the woman was traveling on the wrong side of the highway, the family of the deceased man will likely have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit either against the other driver's estate or her insurance company. If tests indicate that she was intoxicated at the time, that information would strengthen any civil claim filed by the family.
No one deserves to have a loved taken because of another person's negligent or reckless actions. There is no bringing back a lost family member, but Georgia law does protect grieving families from having to shoulder any financial burdens left behind.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "911 caller: 'The front of the car is literally smashed into the front seat,'" Alexis Stevens, Aug. 16, 2012